Professionals compare the feeling of independence that comes from riding a bicycle to flying a hang glider. But the pleasure can be spoiled by the excess weight of the bike, which affects the acceleration dynamics and ease of pedaling. Manufacturers managed to combine functionality, speed, design with the lightest possible construction. There were price record-breakers and budget models. The fastest road bikes, “weightless” city-bikes, folding five-kilogram “kids” are leading the ranking of the lightest bikes. Progressive technology, modern models, a large number of subspecies have increased the trend to two-wheeled vehicle. The choice depends on the style of riding, financial possibilities, personal preference of cyclists.
The lightest road bikes
A bike designed for racing and marathons is designed for high-speed riding on roads with asphalt surfaces. The fastest type of bike is produced without shock-absorbing suspensions, which have considerable weight and absorb some of the work during vigorous pedaling. At high speed, the force of aerodynamic drag impedes the movement of the vehicle. Therefore, manufacturers’ efforts are aimed at lightening the weight of the structure, which affects force compensation, handling and stability of the bike. A normal road bike weighs 7-10 kg. An average lightweight model weighs from 5.5 kilograms.
The world’s largest Taiwanese company has released a unique bike. Merida scultura 8000-E became the market leader in the weight of the super light frame (800 g). The bike with a wheel size of 28.7 is equipped with hydraulic disc brakes, has a lifetime warranty even when used in sports competitions. In 2015, the Scultura 9000 LTD was made in Taiwan, weighing 4.5 kg. The frame, as the most massive part of the construction, was lightened by aluminum and carbon fiber.
In competitions to reach top speeds, every gram counts. Professional sport bikes are equipped with shimano dura technology components adapted to the road. Thanks to modern materials and technology inventors managed to create the lightest road bike with a mass of 3.5 kg. But the record was broken by a group of specialists from different countries, who released an expensive model weighing 2.7 kg. Spin Light costs 45 thousand dollars. All its parts are made of composite materials. The fragile specimen of the lightest bicycle in the world has a trouble-free ride of 25 thousand kilometers.
The International Cycling Union to ensure equal conditions for athletes participating in official competitions has set the minimum weight of the road bike – 6.8 kg.
Lightest Downhill Bikes
The high price makes many superlight models unaffordable for consumers. Of the budget options, the mountain bike is popular. The design, weight is selected for the style of riding. For example, for racing on rough terrain with long climbs and high-speed sections need a lightweight frame. For extreme downhill ski ing, a sturdy frame is needed. Athletes’ results depend a lot on the weight of the bike.
Mountain bikes greatly exceed the weight of road bikes. Sports variants that can withstand heavy loads exceed 20 kg. The average figure is 10-14 kg. Manufacturers are trying to lighten the weight of a heavy bike from titanium alloys to all the additional nodes and mechanisms. Universal models are excellent on the asphalt track, as well as when riding off-road.
The leader of the category “mountain bike for professionals” recognized Dewol CLK 900 weighing 9.16 kg. The $2,500 bike is equipped with an air-oil fork, a carbon frame, and 11 speeds. 27.5-inch wheels are dressed in tenacious Schwalbe tires. Especially for women released a mountain biker Merida Juliet. The model is suitable for walking thanks to the easy handling at a total weight of 11.8 kg.
But the lightest bike in the world was assembled by Swiss cyclist Jean-Pierre Schiltknecht. The record-breaking Volta Montanara, weighing 5.85 kg, is listed in the Guinness Book.
Lightest City Bikes
The City Bike is great for quiet riding and does not claim to be a world champion in weight. The two-wheeled vehicle is designed for city street riding and is not designed for sport. Nonetheless, handling improves with less weight and requires less effort to compensate for inertia. A bike with an aluminum frame is much easier to ride. Professionals advise you to look for lightweight models when choosing a bike for city riding.
- The Pride Rocx 8.1 FLB weighs 12 kg. The frame and fork are made of aluminum alloy. Torsional stiffness and lightweight dynamics are close to highway bikes. Lightweight wheel rims can take a lot of shock.
- Shulz Hopper. A small bike of good quality weighs 9.8 kg. The transmission features components with 2,500 kilometers of service life.
- Dahon EEZZ D3 – the leader in lightweight among city bikes, combining elements of sports and recreational class. Model with three speeds and the service life of 1700 km weighs 9.7 kg.
The lightest BMX bikes
Special bikes with small wheels are equipped with stops on the sides of the tires and mechanisms that turn the handlebars without brake cables. BMX models are chosen by fans of extreme riding. Lightweight bikes are considered to weigh up to 8 kg. Such specimens are rare, so the preference is given to bikes with a total weight of 12-14 kg.
- Maneuverable, compact BMX STELS Tyrant 20 belongs to the entry-level models of trick riding. The advantages of the bike:
- light weight;
- reliable components;
- Tektro U-type rim brakes;
- stylish appearance;
- low cost.
- FORWARD Zigzag 2.0 is a freely controllable stunt bike, one of the top lightest BMX bikes. The model is suitable for riders of any level. Lightweight (7-10 kg) allows you to perform jumps without the risk of damaging the structure when you fall. Safe braking is provided by Promax U-961 pincer-type rim brakes.
- STARK Madness BMX Race is a beautiful, durable model weighing 10 kg. The lightweight frame is made of aluminum and can withstand heavy loads. Easy handling, braking system allows you to control the execution of acrobatic tricks.
BMX bikes “fly” well and do not break on landing. Bikes are designed for sports competitions, riding on rough roads (hills, trails, ramps).
Lightest Folding Bicycle
The development of advanced technology, the emergence of new materials helped solve the problem of storing and transporting bikes. Folding bikes made of aluminum alloys, which are as efficient and long-lasting as conventional two-wheeled vehicles, have appeared on the market. Small bikes can be packed in a backpack, bag, put in the trunk of the car or placed in a free corner of the apartment. A variety of quality models, excellent driving characteristics, bright design allow the consumer to choose the right option.
- Stylish bike weighing 10.9 kg was released by the American company Dahon, specializing in the manufacture of innovative products. Quality characteristics of the compact Speed Uno:
- lightweight frame;
- chrome-plated steel fork;
- quick-acting brake system;
- lightweight aluminum alloy rims;
- one speed.
The model for outdoor and city travel costs $419.
- The Airframe compact bike weighs 10.5 kg. Thanks to a unique mechanism designed by Graham Herbert, the bike easily folds down to its smallest size. Quality features:
- easy handlebar and saddle height adjustment;
- folding pedals;
- puncture-proof tires;
- small parameters: 110x46x31 cm;
- free pouch for transporting the bike.
- The lightest bicycle was designed by Clive Sinclair Sinclair, owner of Sinclair Radionics. The British entrepreneur first demonstrated the folding A-bike in Singapore (2014). Weighing 5.5 kg, the bike travels 3.2 meters per pedal revolution. Features of the model, made of aluminum and plastic:
- the frame in the unfolded position resembles the letter A;
- overall dimensions: 67 cm×30 cm×16 cm
- wheel diameter – 15 cm
- driving speed – 25 km/h;
- ergonomic saddle;
- transforms into a compact state in 15 seconds;
- cost – 300 dollars.
The Hank Direct Bike is a unique folding bike presented by Bygen (Korea). The design weighs 7 kg and differs from other models by the absence of a chain and a sliding frame. Inventors have created a special mechanism that connects the pedals and the rear wheel. The manufacturers assure that the innovation increases the efficiency of pedaling by 7-8%.
Advantages and disadvantages of lightweight bicycles
Experts among the important characteristics of two-wheeled vehicle allocate weight, which depends on the speed and maneuverability of the bicycle. Massive and sluggish bikes require effort to change course and expensive components. When the weight drops, the bike’s basic parameters improve: inertia, handling, and stability. Lightweight models with an affordable fixed gear system allow you to gain top speed.
Trek bikes are characterized by a short wheelbase, rigid frame of small size, which affect the maneuverability and lightweight. Mountain bikes have an insignificant cross section of tires, due to which the tire fits tightly to the rim. Each model has its own advantages and disadvantages. If you combine lightweight bikes by class, you can identify the main pluses and minor disadvantages.
|Type of bike||Positive features||Negative characteristics|
|Sports||Aluminum alloys, carbon fiber reinforced plastic provide a strong frame with minimal weight||Design peculiarities you have to get used to|
|Urban||Solid build and fit
Sometimes the brakes squeak
Pedals are of poor quality
|Mountainous||High-quality gear, chassis, brakes
Lightweight frame with high load threshold
Hydraulic brake system
Reliable brake system
Many speeds (11-27)
No wrench 15 and no mudguards
Large wheels, soft roll
|– Bumpy paint finish
– Brakes squeak
Many consumers consider the main disadvantage of lightweight bikes to be the inflated price. For example, the KGS TIER 3 CUSTOM BIKE costs 8-30 thousand dollars. The seven-kilogram model is made to order and is sold in 2 or 3 copies per year. The black and gold design with wooden inlays is impressive.
Weight is important, but not the decisive characteristic of the bike. Behind each lightweight design node is a serious investment. Professionals advise choosing a two-wheeler to prioritize reliability, endurance and safety.